Stock solutions? Not for Formula Student! Think outside the box. Take risks. Find solutions that transcend the traditional. That is what the international design competition at the Hockenheimring is all about. Last weekend, overall victory went to the members of the TUfast Student Racing Team from Munich – one of the racing teams sponsored by MTU. The MoRe Modena Racing Team took the MTU Award for the ‘Most innovative drive train’. The students showed that engines do not have to be cross-mounted as standard but can be fitted lengthwise, too.
This year’s Formula Student design competition was won by the race car designed by the members of the Munich TUfast Racing Team. They were just one of seven teams that received support from MTU in the form of finance and components from the production section. Overall victory was not crucially dependent on speed but took a range of other factors into account. These included design, construction, acceleration, endurance, cornering/road-holding, commercial feasibility and viable business and cost concepts.
Engine fitted lengthwise instead of crosswise
The students from the Italian MoRe Modena Racing Team demonstrated what the drive configuration of the future might look like – and their vision won them the MTU Award for the ‘Most innovative drive train’. The team’s race car won the approval of MTU judges Jürgen Schimmels (Head of R&D for Special Engines and Systems), Harald Weishaupt (Team leader R&D for Special Engines and Systems), Udo Sander (Head of R&D for gas engines) and Jörg Andre Reitz (Team Leader in the Design Section). “The winning team had an excellent concept. They mounted their engine lengthwise instead of across the vehicle. That means the exhaust faces sideways instead of toward the back or front. The advantage is that the area can be cooled by the airflow and overheating does not occur,” explained Schimmels. Taking part in the Formula Student competition is always one of the highlights of the judges’ year. “The student teams are judged over a range of categories. We are always really interested to see what they have come up with this time,” said Reitz.
Time and effort bring results
Ingenuity, innovative thinking and passion are the essential elements for victory in the Formula Student design competition at the Hockenheimring. On Friday evening, CFO and Director of Labor Relations Marcus A. Wassenberg presented the winning team from Italy with their award and the prize of €3,000 that goes with it. “It is impressive to see just how much time and effort the students invest in this project on top of their actual study commitments. I am proud of the fact that we at MTU are able to give our support for this competition,” said Wassenberg.
Work of an international company
The Formula Student design competition does more than just encourage participants to build working vehicles. It also gives them the chance to get to know the tasks involved in the work of an international company: keeping to schedule, problem solving, entrepreneurial thinking. This year teams from 34 countries entered a total of 75 race cars powered by internal combustion engines and 40 teams with electric vehicles took part. And this year once again, MTU had its own on-site booth with colleagues from the HR, R&D and Design sections providing information about MTU products and entry-level opportunities. “It is always a great experience to be here on the spot. Especially when you get the chance to meet the students and see what they have been developing and building over the last few months,” said Yumiko Mathias, who was supporting the Formula Student event on behalf of the HR Marketing team for the second time.
Teams sponsored by MTU at the forefront
MTU-sponsored teams finished as follows: The Racing Team Stuttgart from the University of Stuttgart took second place. High Octane from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg came in fourth. The team from the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT) was very pleased with its tenth place ranking and the eleventh spot went to students from the university in Weingarten. Problems with their engines and battery electronics meant that the teams from DHBW (University of Cooperative Education) in Ravensburg and the Braunschweig University of Technology were unable to compete for places. First place in the ‘Formula Student Electric’ category, the section for electric vehicles, went to the KA Racing Team from Karlsruhe.
‘Innovation is something you look back on’
Students and judges alike are already looking forward to next year’s competition that will also feature a new discipline: driverless vehicles. “It not just the cars that change, the disciplines do, too. It is fascinating to see how series-production automobiles influence the Formula Student event. I can’t wait to see what the students will come up with next year,” said Udo Sander. “When one team has a new idea and you begin to recognize other teams adopting the same approach, that’s when it counts as innovative – after all, innovation is something you tend to look back on,” said development engineer Jürgen Schimmels, adding: “The really exciting part is having the chance to be right at the forefront of the process.”
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